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Love of horses leads Windsor writer Jennifer Lynn Alvarez to children's fantasy book series

While driving on Highway 101 three years ago, Windsor writer Jennifer Lynn Alvarez came up with the idea of a children’s fantasy saga about conflicts among several herds of migrating flying horses called pegasi.

That reverie, inspired by the clouds she saw, evolved to the “Guardian Herd” book series and the publication by HarperCollins in September 2014 of the first book, “Starfire.” It sold about 20,000 copies, Alvarez said.

The publication of “Stormbound” followed in 2015 and her third “Landfall,” was published Feb. 2. Alvarez also revealed the cover of her fourth book, “Windborn,” on Feb. 7. The book is due for publication Sept. 20.

The books are sold nationwide at Barnes & Noble and in independent bookstores. They are available first in hard cover and later in paperback.

The Orange County native and UC Berkeley graduate has one more bit of exciting news.

“I have been signed for three more ‘Guardian Herd’ books, bringing the total to seven,” she said. “Fan enthusiasm paved the way for the new trilogy and I’m so grateful.”

The trilogy will be a spinoff, with some existing characters in a continent inhabited by giants and massive reptiles that are not dinosaurs.

“There will be new creatures and new challenges, and for the first time in the Guardian Herd series humans, or ‘land walkers’ as well,” Alvarez said.

When Alvarez, 45, is not writing she is visiting schools and bookstores locally and nationally.

“I’m also teaching writing workshops, and I’m the new volunteer district commissioner of the Santa Rosa Pony Club. It’s open to the public and meets twice a month at the Santa Rosa Equestrian Center. It’s like a 4H Club for boys and girls with horses. They learn horsemanship and how to be good citizens,” she said.

Alvarez said she had no idea that her long love of horses would lead to her success with the “Guardian Herd” series.

“I wrote these for fun and to entertain my daughter, Crystal. Her interest told me I might have something here. My agent’s son was also interested and he wanted his mom to sign me,” Alvarez said. “I couldn’t do this without my husband, Ramon. He’s fantastic at holding down the fort while I’m writing or gone on tour.”

Alvarez and the “Guardian Herd” books have separate websites. Kids take quizzes and play games related to the books on the latter site.

“The fan support has been amazing. Beside all the pegasi artwork they create, kids are online making up role playing games and creating ‘Guardian Herd’ movies,” she said. “They write letters and emails from all over the globe. They appear at my bookstore events and one adult fan tattooed one of the pegasi characters on her arm.

“Writing these books is what I feel I was born to do!”

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